|The Emery County Commission hears plans for 4-H in 2005.|
"We're planning a cool camp for 4-H kids this summer," said Tawny Conder in a presentation to the county commission. The camp will center around a western theme with horses and western activities during the three day camp. This camp is for all 4-H club members and will also include the Carbon County 4-H this year. The county 4-H members recently went on an opening activity to Provo where they went shopping, had lunch and watched a movie. They thanked the county commission for the use of the county van for this activity. The 4-H members also presented the commissioners with a cake as a token of their appreciation.
Conder is selling elk jerky and sticks as a fund raising project where she is donating half the proceeds to the horse 4-H and half to the teen council. Commissioner Drew Sitterud suggested Conder sell the jerky at the county fair. Jody Porter, 4-H advisor, said they had 13 members attend the first planning meeting where they discussed camp and their service project. Their proposed project includes placing welcome signs at each end of the county to welcome visitors and let them know there is an active 4-H in the community.
The commissioners liked the idea of the signs and suggested they contact the Utah Department of Transportation for the rules governing signs along state highways, even though the signs will be on private land. Suggested language on the sign was, "Emery County 4-H welcomes you. The 4-H teen council is at work to make a better community."
The 4-H fund raiser is April 1-3 in room 218 in the county building in Castle Dale. A photographer will take family photos for this fund raiser.
Delena Fish gave the workforce service update. She said workforce services is working to help bring an occupational training center to the area to train people for work in the energy related fields. Deb Dull for Utah Power met with the regional council and the leaders of the coal industry to discuss these needs. The Southeast Utah Applied Technology College is gearing up to offer course work for different certifications in the mining field. A 12 month course or three month courses are being planned. They are working to accommodate the mining companies needs and curriculum is being prepared now.
Workforce services is supporting training for the medical field as well, to keep the area supplied in their medical needs. The commissioners pointed out the trouble with training people and then having them leave the area. Sen. Orrin Hatch is sponsoring legislation which offers enticements and incentives to keep medical providers in rural areas.
Fish reported they have seen an increase in those receiving assistance from their office. They currently have 301 families receiving food assistance; 51 financial assistance; 23 childcare assistance; 248 family medical; 118 disability medical, 41 other types of medical.
Fish explained the financial impacts to the county of the services they offer which brings money into the county. In one month's time $65,125 in food stamp benefits could be spent in the county. Total services bring $2,374,303 into the local economies yearly.
The commission is sending a letter to the congressional representatives and senators about the Bureau of Land Managements resource management plan. The letter states, "It is our desire to work with the BLM to develop a plan that represents Emery County's priorities and that will help sustain a viable economic base for the county residents." The county wants the Washington representatives to become involved when the RMP document reaches the Washington Office of the BLM and look out for Emery County's best interest.
The mystery of the Ferron library high heating bill has been solved. Commissioner Kofford had the situation investigated and the thermostat at the library is defective and the air conditioning as well as the furnace has been running leading to the high heating bills. This has been an ongoing problem for the last couple of years. The other libraries are being checked and new thermostats installed. Several problems with the furnaces in the libraries have been identified.
Commissioner Sitterud reported he had met last week to write the grant for the digital TV reception. The grant is to buy equipment and each county is responsible for their own building and power. They will approach the CIB for funding at their April meeting. He also reported attending the retirement party for Lowell Braxton and attending the cowboy caucus where rural issues were discussed at the legislature.
The state currently has 26, RS-2477 roads in court or legal action of some type and 11 of these roads are in Emery County. Commissioner Ira Hatch reported that he and Ray Petersen, public lands director met with Patrick Gubbins and Sally Wisely from the BLM for an update on the RMP.
Hatch said he attended an open house honoring 10 years for SITLA. They recognized past and present board members. He also attended the legislature and met with the representatives from the county's district. He attended a weed conference in Cedar City.
Commissioner Kofford said there will be a meeting to establish a county fire plan on March 30 at 9 a.m. in the county building.